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“Potential for greatness let down by customer service” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Penny Street Bridge

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Penny Street Bridge
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Penny Street, Lancaster LA1 1XT, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Lancaster
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
“Potential for greatness let down by customer service”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2010

I wasn't going to write anything about this hotel, as we have have no intention of going there again - which sort of says it really. Disappointed could have been my strap-line, but reckon the one chosen is more honest and hopefully, will encourage the owners to focus. So, why review it now? Well, I only recently registered with Trip Advisor (to write a good review - & that says something about that establishment!) and I noticed that the reviews posted for Penny Bridge are all 'rave reviews', which isn't a fair assessment. The good points: excellent location to Lancaster, high room specification, excellent range of complimentary tea/coffee/hot chocolate drinks, etc in room, very pleasant bar/restaurant. - The downs: 1) levels of cleanliness (our room) were passable but not good. We arrived at 4pm and allocated our room which had not been prepared (ie cleaned, fresh bedding, etc). Oversights happen, however there was no apology, or offer to provide us with a beverage while we waited, in fact we were asked to come back 1 hour later to allow the cleaning team time to ready the room (which surely had been marked as ready?). 2) Car parking is limited and the arrangement provided by the hotel for use of the public car park will cost you MORE than if you just do it yourself (check it out - it's all in the timing of feeding the meter). 3) Room maintenance is neglected (ie doors not closing due to warping/adjustment, bulbs out in bathroom, plaster walls cracked - probably due to the doors being banged/forced to shut) which is a shame, as a lot of thought has gone into the design, etc. 4) (and this is the 'biggy') VERY POOR Customer Service! apart from the complaint in item 1), we had booked B&B (through Expedia) and our booking had gone amiss even though we had a reference number and (thank God) a print out of our booking acceptance. The error was begrudgingly accepted by the receptionist, although it was made out to be our fault for using Expedia rather than booking direct (something to do with price perhaps?). When we were presented with our bill the next morning, we had been charged the full room rate, even though we had apparently sorted out the error the evening before (so it was price then?). The B&B rate did not clarify that it was a 2 tier breakfast - the standard being a continental (which was of high quality btw!), with an option to 'up-grade' to a full English for a significant fee. The young woman in charge of the breakfast was surly and mumbled about paying extra for a cooked breakfast (which you can read about in the Hotels small print). At one point, I needed some more butter so that I could have more than the 1 piece of toast my portion allowed and it took me over 5 minutes to attract her attention away from the important task of folding the paper napkins! She then faffed about for the next 5 minutes in the kitchen, returning empty handed and proceeded to nick some butter of an unoccupied table - could've done that myself within 20 seconds if I'd known! I was tempted to ask for some more just to see what she did next, but the wife stopped me. ;D I got the impression that the hotel ran on a skeleton staff and that everything was just too much trouble, which was due to having pesky guests? If only we'd just give them the money and stay somewhere else, eh?

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thwaitesinns, Ian Graham - General Manager at Penny Street Bridge, responded to this review, January 31, 2011
Thank you for your review, I am disappointed to read you didn’t have a good experience when you stayed with us in August, and would dearly have loved the opportunity to make amends whilst you were with us.

Clearly we did have some own goals in terms of attention to details in terms of the room, the reservation process and check in for which I apologise. I would like to reassure you that we do take all our feedback on the chin and we constantly train and coach with the team in order to make sure we get things right for our guests.

I would like to discuss these matters directly in more detail, please do contact me if you are happy to do so.

Kind Regards,
Ian Graham,
General Manager
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336 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (72)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Park City , Utah
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2010

Went back to visit mother in Lancaster from the US and stayed in what used to be a bar and live venue. (25 years ago) Glad to see the amazing upgrade. Rooms were clean and with the closet there was room to store 2 suitcases and all our clothes for a week long stay. Great parking spaces in the back but make sure you book in advance. One night we came back late and the manager had saved our spot by parking his own car there. Food was so good that we ate in the hotel everyday but 2 . My only wish was that the bed was a little firmer but when that is the only hole I can find then everything else was great. Loved being close to town that we did not need to drive at night.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thwaitesinns, Ian Graham - General Manager at Penny Street Bridge, responded to this review, December 8, 2010
Thank you for your great review, I am please to read you had a great stay in Lancaster and loved the hotel, it has been a huge transformation from its former life.

I do hope to welcome you back to Penny Street Bridge again, don’t leave it another 25 years

Best wishes
Ian Graham,
General Manager
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Lancaster
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2010

I live in Lancaster and last night 30 of us went for our work xmas meal. The turkey, looked as if it had been pre packed and not carved from a joint. It was very dry, overcooked, and had stuffing in every slice of meat. This is not good for people who do not like stuffing. The veg was excellent. Xmas pud dry too. Comments from others was that the beef was also dry. I feel that the kitchen staff could not cope with a large volume of customers at the same time.

  • Stayed December 2010
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thwaitesinns, Ian Graham - General Manager at Penny Street Bridge, responded to this review, December 8, 2010
Thank you for your comments on your Christmas Party from Friday evening, I am very sorry to read you felt that the food was not up to our usual standards, especially after receiving “exceptional” comments from other members of your party on leaving. Andrew, Head Chef and his pride themselves at Penny Street Bridge on the fact we only serve fresh ingredients in dishes made here by the team, the Turkey dish you mention is carved from a joint then hand rolled with the stuffing and bacon, as advertised on the menu, with regard to the daube of beef, this is slow cooked for a minimum of 4 hours, so shouldn’t be dry at all, we will be working closely with our butcher to ensure we only receive the very best cuts. The Christmas pudding has been rectified with the addition of extra brandy!

Regards
Ian Graham,
General Manager
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Leeds
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2010

Stayed here as a birthday treat with my mum on bonfire weekend and had a great time. Room was gorgeous (loved all the mod cons!), food was lovely and location was fabulous.
Managed to get a car parking space at the hotel (be quick to book one if you want one as there are only 4 spaces available! It cost £5)
Went for a drink at the hotel bar in the evening - really nice atmosphere - before going across the road to The Gatehouse restaurant for dinner.
Would definitely recommend this hotel - really don't think you could beat it in Lancaster.

  • Stayed November 2010
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thwaitesinns, Ian Graham - General Manager at Penny Street Bridge, responded to this review, November 15, 2010
Thank you for your positive, detailed review, I’m pleased to read you had such a great birthday weekend in Lancaster and Penny Street Bridge. I hope you enjoyed Lancaster’s stunning fireworks display,

Best wishes,
Ian Graham
General Manager
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Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2010

We live in Lancaster so haven't stayed here but have had some lovely meals there. The food is really tasty and the pub has a great atmosphere. Our work also went for a Christmas party and had a lovely time and thought that the food was fab! I would really recommend this place for somewhere to eat and am sure that it's a great placenta stay too!! We will definitely be going back!!

  • Stayed May 2010
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thwaitesinns, Ian Graham - General Manager at Penny Street Bridge, responded to this review, October 7, 2010
Thank you for your wonderful review - all of the team are constantly striving to improve on food quality and service and I will be sure to pass on your comments.
We have recently been nominated for Lancashire Restaurant of the Year 2010, fingers crossed…. If they judges think like you do we should be home and dry!

Best wishes,
Ian
General Manager
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London
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2010

I enjoyed my stay at the Penny Street Bridge Hotel and found the staff helpful and friendly. The food was good, and as I don't particularly like traditional English cooked breakfast, it didn't bother me that you had to pay extra for it. ( Maybe a few slices of mild cheese and some cold meats could be added to the continental options, though.) I did like our powerful shower, but I thought the provision of soaps/ shower gels/bubble bath etc a bit niggardly considering the price of the room---just two dispensers fastened to the wall, too high to reach if you were sitting in the bath--no bubble bath at all, or hair conditioneretc. It was however, impossible to turn the heating up in the room and I wondered why there was an air conditioning unit in the chilly North!
But these are details...the beds were comfy and the bar was good, and the staff were very pleasant!

Stayed September 2010
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thwaitesinns, Ian Graham - General Manager at Penny Street Bridge, responded to this review, October 4, 2010
Thank you for your feedback, I am pleased to read overall you enjoyed your stay at Penny Street Bridge. Thank you also for your comments about the provision of shower gels etc – it is always a balancing act to keep the costs in line so we can continue to offer guests great value for money and adding in little extras – but I will bear this in mind when we conduct our next product review. We do indeed have air-conditioning for the few times each year it is required. These units will heat rooms as well as cool - my apologies if this wasn’t clearly explained to you.

Ian Graham
General Manager
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West Midlands
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2010

Me and my daughter loved this hotel. Amazing modern room. Large LCD telly. Very modern bath room. Lovely decor. Not a bad word to say.

Great location !

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thwaitesinns, Ian Graham - General Manager at Penny Street Bridge, responded to this review, October 4, 2010
Thank you for your wonderful comments - I will be sure to pass these on to the rest of the team and hope that we’ll see you back soon

Best wishes,
Ian Graham
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Penny Street Bridge

Address: Penny Street, Lancaster LA1 1XT, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Lancashire > Lancaster
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Lancaster
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Penny Street Bridge 4*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the centre of Lancaster, Penny Street Bridge is a popular hotel full of character and charm. We've a relaxed and contemporary atmosphere but have maintained many historic features. Each of our rooms are uniquely shaped and unlike the other. All rooms are equipped with all the small details that make it a home away from home. And in the morning you'll awake to a hearty Lancashire breakfast. Downstairs is our popular bar and restaurant which serves locally sourced dishes alongside a fantastic range of cask ales. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Penny Street Bridge Hotel Lancaster

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